The latest incidents of violence in Assam has once again put the focus on the easy availability of arms and weapons that often become the main reason why even relatively minor altercations escalate into big clashes with high casualties.
There are just too many guns floating around in the state, former home secretary G K Pillai said. This is not the first such incident,and till we are able to seize all illegal weapons,this will also not be the last.
DGP Jayanto Narayan Choudhury agreed with the assessment. Almost every household has a gun. And all these are unlicenced weapons. These weapons complicate every situation where two groups of people get into an altercation, Choudhury said.
In this particular situation,one group (the Bodos) had plenty of firearms while the other (the Muslim community) did not. But the other group has the ability to mobilise people in large numbers. That is why we have seen a large number of casualties, Choudhury said.
Government sources said local politics in the Bodoland area was dominated by guns and the money being pumped into the Bodoland Territorial Council was not entirely being used for development. There is a sense of insecurity among the non-Bodos, he said.
Asked how difficult it was to seize the illegal weapons,DGP Choudhury said,…it was impractical to search every house,the weapons are not generally kept in the houses or hideouts. Most of the arms are buried underground at different locations and are taken out during conflicts, he said.